HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — While fun times await local parks and the Tennessee River on July 4, workers at many animal shelters are not looking forward to the possibility of the biggest single-day intake of lost pets for the year.

“July 5th is always our busiest day of the year for us as far as intakes,” Huntsville Animal Services director Karen Sheppard told News 19. “I think most of it is scared dogs getting out with fireworks but definitely whenever you’ve got a lot of parties and people coming and going, there’s always a chance for escape.”

That’s also because of the adverse effects fireworks have on animals – especially dogs.

“A lot of times a dog that’s happy in a backyard, when they hear those fireworks…you just wouldn’t believe how much panic and frantic they feel with that noise phobia,” Sheppard said.

Sheppard has led the Tennessee Valley’s largest animal shelter for the last two decades. She wants fellow animal lovers to help her staff avoid another heavy influx of furry friends distressed by loud booms and smoke that accompany Independence Day evenings.

“Make sure your dog’s inside. Even if you don’t think your dog or cat’s scared of fireworks and loud noises make sure your pet’s inside. Always have a personalized id tag on your pet’s collar that has your address and your phone number. That’s something that helps out 24/7, 365 days of the year.”

Sheppard adds that a few good resources to help find a lost pet can include local Facebook groups for lost and found pets and the Nextdoor app.